Our Volunteers

Profile of Volunteers

In every bi-monthly newsletter, we feature one of our impressive volunteers. They are the backbone of our organization, helping us bring quality services to you. Below you will find some of those featured in this year’s What’s Happenin’ Gresham Senior Center Newsletter. Please take the time to thank the volunteers you work with at Gresham Senior Center and pat yourself on the back for your own contribution.

 Dee Henricksen

Dee-HenricksenDee Henricksen exemplifies lot of the qualities we most admire- kindness, empathy and a generous spirit. She also shares her time with Meals on Wheels and Mt Hood Community College’s Head Start Program. Pet projects include GSC”s Tuesday night Dance and our upcoming Dollar Day Sale Fundraiser in January. She is also a member of the GSC Board of Directors.

Both sets of grandparents immigrated from Sevilla, Spain. Her mother was raised on a horse ranch in Silver Creek, Arizona. One of 7 children, they moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico and Dee graduated from high school there. She met her husband while working at the library. He got her attention when he re-shelved some book in the wrong spot. They married in December of 1960.  They moved around a lot as he was in the AirForce and spent two years in Viet Nam, working on top secret projects as an encrytionist.

They and their two children, Debbie and Jerry, moved to Portland in 1988. Her husband was the NW manager for a computer firm. Dee continued her work in the healthcare industry. She was trained as a lab technician. “I’ve never had a job I didn’t like,” she insists.

This is her second year coordinating the Dollar Day Sale in January. “Everything will be just a dollar, with no exceptions. We are happy to take any clean donated items, and can also put volunteers to work at the sale. Just drop by the office for more information. Your help will be greatly appreciate.”


 Herschel Brown

Herschel-BrownDefinitely one of the cornerstones of Gresham Senior Center, Herschel Brown has been on it Board of Directors for 16 years and the genial co-host of the Tuesday Night Dance since 1998. Here at the the Senior Center, we are grateful for his long standing involvement with GSC, both as a volunteer and a benefactor.

Herschel moved to Wood Village in 1976, retired in 1983 and started coming to the Senior Center for something to do. He was a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels for over 10 years. He met his wife, Lori, at the Tuesday Night Dance and they were married right here in Trillium Hall in 2006. The family held a big party for Herschel’s 90th birthday here at the center over Father’s Day weekend, 2011.

When asked what he thinks the secret to longevity might be, Herschel chalks it up to “luck,”  not “clean living.” “I never expected to live past 5o,” he admts. His parents died in their 50’s and he is the last surviving sibling in his family. And how about some words to live by? “I’ve always tried to lead an honest life,: he says, then smiles. “I never was too much for shooting game out of season.”


Alice Murray

Alice-MurrayAlice looks on the bright side of things. She is kind and helpful to all she meets. After a year and half on the Reception Desk, Alice recently committed to joining the GSC Board of Directors and was elected as its new Vice President.

“Working here at the Senior Center was my first volunteer job. Being here is a blessing for me. I needed a purpose and I enjoy all the different people I get to meet and help.”

Most important in Alice’s life is her children, grandchildren and her great granddaughter, who live in California. Her life philosophy: “I learned never to make waves when I was growing up, but these days I think it is OK to make the occasional ripple.”

Louise Whittingham

LouiseSometimes outspoken and always a force to be reckoned with, Louise has been a passionate advocate for Gresham Senior Center for more than a decade. She has been Vice President of the Board of Directors and coordinated special events, as well as served as Manager of the Ambleside Shoppe and Editor of the newsletter.

A resident of Gresham for 24 years, she and her husband, Bob, (along with their Scotty dog) moved into Gresham Manor last July.  She reports they all felt comfortable there from day one, and continue to enjoy a camaraderie with the other residents.

Louise became the Volunteer Coordinator back in 2002 serving in various positions since then. In 2003, she and Charlotte Freeman and Virginia Clark formed the Feisty Red Hatters at Gresham United Methodist Church. Notable accomplishments include climbing to the top of Mt St Helens, after the volcano erupted, and completing the Portland Marathon. Traveling through Austria Germany, Russia and Peru are some of her other treasured memories.